Friday, December 21

The Plan

Not only is it the end of the year, but in 2012, today is the end of times .  It's 10 a.m., and the sun is still shining, the earth spinning, and everything seems quite pleasant and normal.  Life is good and that's saying a lot.

For years, the time before and after Christmas has been devoted to "getting through the holidays" with very little reflection on accomplishments and set-backs throughout the year.  There is always at least one person who will ask what "my plan" is for the new year, and I'm always thinking that I need to lose weight, exercise more, make more money, do more with family, yadda yadda, yadda.  The operative word in all of this is "thinking."

These are mindless and repetitive new year's resolutions that seem to set the stage for disappointment.  So, this year, my "plan" is to Be Here Now.  As I argue with myself over what to eat, when to exercise, who to visit and when, I'm losing the opportunity to step outside my door and explore my world.  If exploring and adventure are beyond me, I can step inside myself and do some interior work.  Or, enjoy the moments given to me and make some moments to give to others.

The "live in the moment" idea is not new for me.  It has taken maturity to put value on this simple and profound concept.  Rather than strive for happiness, I realize that it will come to me if I let it in.  Despite all of the sadness and chaos in the world, sentient beings are meant to do what they do and accept life on its own terms, no matter if the terms are comfortable or tortuous.  Just being alive enough to accept what comes our way, whether we created it or not, is a gift and a blessing.

What prompted all of this reflection?  A beautiful poem by Octavio Paz....

Between Going and Coming

Between going and staying
the day wavers,
in love with its own transparency.
The circular afternoon is now a bay
where the world in stillness rocks.

All is visible and all elusive,
all is near and can’t be touched.

Paper, book, pencil, glass,
rest in the shade of their names.

Time throbbing in my temples repeats
the same unchanging syllable of blood.

The light turns the indifferent wall
into a ghostly theater of reflections.

I find myself in the middle of an eye,
watching myself in its blank stare.

The moment scatters. Motionless,
I stay and go: I am a pause. 

May all beings know love and peace moment by moment.